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GTA IV Trailer Inflames Big Apple Politicians 158

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the not-on-our-watch dept.
GP writes "The GTA4 trailer isn't 48 hours old yet, but NYC politicians are up in arms because the game's setting, Liberty City, is a virtual version of the Big Apple." Obviously these guys never played GTA3, since it was also set in the "fictional" Liberty City, that also felt a lot like NYC.
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GTA IV Trailer Inflames Big Apple Politicians

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 31, 2007 @10:54AM (#18556047)
    MOD THE TROLL DOWN!!!
  • Up in arms? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by EveryNickIsTaken (1054794) on Saturday March 31, 2007 @10:55AM (#18556061)
    They're not up in arms. Some uppity reporter went to the Mayor and the council and said, "Hey, Grand Theft Auto is set in NYC. What's your response?" And neither reponse was particularly vitriolic. Much ado about nothing.
  • Oooh! (Score:5, Funny)

    by MWoody (222806) on Saturday March 31, 2007 @10:57AM (#18556069)
    Setting Grand Theft Auto in the safest big city in America would be like setting Halo in Disneyland.

    I think I speak for all gamers when I say this would, indeed, be awesome.
    • I read on Slashdot today that they're going to set the next Halo in Disneyland. Really.....It's true...Thats right, Slashdot.
    • by Adriax (746043)
      God damnit, master cheif in the shiney light-up mouse ears we now sell is a mental image I never wanted...
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      It could have been worse--they could set Halo in NYC. The game would end with Bloomberg eating a teabag on the steps of City Hall and that old gnarly drill sarge guy saying "did I give you permission to bitch?"
    • Not really, would you really want to wait in line for an hour at the beginning of each level? Red vs. Blue could probably make something of it, but I don't think it'd make a very fun game.
      • You just don't get it, one of the levels would *be* the line. You kill eachother to get to the front, then you slaughter the bastards that made you wait to begin with... (hey, it'd be just like the flood levels in halo 1...)
    • by Tony Hoyle (11698)
      Safest city? Every single disaster movie the US ever produced seems to centre the disaster on NY getting destroyed.

      It's come close a couple of times in real life too.
  • by Wuhao (471511) * on Saturday March 31, 2007 @11:04AM (#18556127)
    This city is a completely unrealistic setting for a story about petty crime, gang violence and ethnicity-oriented organized crime. This is an affront to the citizens, and an insult to its elected officials who work hard to keep it clean. Liberty City is a finest city you will ever find, and for Rockstar to continue smearing it is abhorrent. Why can't they pick a genuine crime-infested hell hole, like New York?
  • Ok, and? (Score:2, Funny)

    by squiggleslash (241428) *

    Obviously these guys never played GTA3...

    Er, really? You think that huh?

    Exactly what would lead you to write a sentence where you'd seriously think it's in question whether politicians who have no understanding whatsoever of video games would have played a particular one in the first place?

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Hey, if you're going to have your game take place in a huge, crime-infested, urine-soaked hellhole, it just makes sense to model it after a real-life, crime-infested, urine-soaked hellhole!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 31, 2007 @11:11AM (#18556169)
    New GTA missions include smoking in public, rampant ingestion of trans fats, distribution of black market foie gras, and preemptive spying on puppet people.

    What kind of message does this send to the kids?
  • by mixxu (1076713)
    does gta 4 feature "Kill the politicians" like vice city had it's "kill the haitians"?
  • That Peter Vallone not only knows of, but has apparently played Halo!

    Seriously, this is a gigantic non-story. The two best pull quotes they could manage say nothing directly negative about the game at all.
  • Thank Goodness... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FREAKHEAD (987013) on Saturday March 31, 2007 @11:14AM (#18556203)
    ...that we have movies that only reflect the great qualities of that city. If movies showed violence, cop killing, etc in N.Y., I am sure we would see equal outrage.
    • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

      by sumdumass (711423)
      The movies pay a royalty for using the likeness of cities in most circumstances. If there was an outrage, it would likely be over not getting their cut.

      This is one reason you see LA being called NYC or NYC being called Chicago in some movies. It isn't because they can't read a map, rather because Once city lets them shoot cheaper then another and the story says it is a certain city. If you come from these places, you will see stunning similarities in the skyline. Although now it is possible to add landmarks
      • "The movies pay a royalty for using the likeness of cities in most circumstances."
        That is absurd. The likeness of a city is not protected under any law. Do you have any proof to back up that statement?
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Bottlemaster (449635)

          That is absurd. The likeness of a city is not protected under any law. Do you have any proof to back up that statement?
          This anecdote isn't proof, but it is relevant. Also, spoiler warning.

          The commentary track on the Fight Club DVD claims that to avoid the possibility of lawsuits, all the skyscrapers shown destroyed at the end of the film are likenesses of buildings owned by News Corporation (parent of 20th Century Fox) or its subsidiaries.
      • by znu (31198)
        This is complete nonsense. There is no royalty required to use the "likeness" of a city. NYC doesn't even charge for shooting permits; you can literally get a permit and close down streets for a shoot without paying the city a dime. City and state governments want to attract filmmakers not because they get money directly, but because it results in money being spent in local economies and it promotes tourism.

        Some distinctive buildings may have copyrighted designs. The Chrysler building, for instance. But cou
        • by j-pimp (177072)

          This is complete nonsense. There is no royalty required to use the "likeness" of a city. NYC doesn't even charge for shooting permits; you can literally get a permit and close down streets for a shoot without paying the city a dime.

          Not entirely true. The permit is free, but you have to pay for police and traffic officers that are assigned to your detail. The city decides if you need police and traffic enforcement officers. Actually closing down a whole city street involves police and traffic officer involvement. That being said, you can setup cameras on a sidewalk and get a parking permit for a few vans if your doing a low budget movie not involving anything like a chase scene. Also, you only need a permit if your putting a tripod d

  • Love how that trailer is so obviously influenced by Reggio's cityscape stop motion work inKoyaanisqatsi [imdb.com] combined with Philip Glass' music. Heh.
  • ...it's as though they're suggesting there's crime in New York. Who would think of such a blatant lie?
  • Safest? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by kurt555gs (309278) <kurt555gs AT ovi DOT com> on Saturday March 31, 2007 @11:24AM (#18556269) Homepage
    I live near Chicago ( Joliet ) and travel extensively through ought the USA. "Safest"? and New York do not belong in the same sentence in my opinion. To me, New York is just NASTY. I did a job just across the Brooklyn Bridge in Williamsburg at a public housing project. The guards there leave after dark for fear of being shot.

    I think one of the reasons that New York politico's don't like the New York / Liberty City parallel is that it is just to close to home, and NYC really is very similar to the virtual world inside GTA.

    Chicago is a much nicer, safer, cleaner and just better city than New York. Notice that game makers don't generally use it.

    Cheers

     
    • Re:Safest? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Pink Tinkletini (978889) on Saturday March 31, 2007 @11:40AM (#18556357) Homepage
      Chicago's a much nicer place than New York in a lot of ways, and even more forward-thinking—the greenroofs movement in private development, for example—but New York is still the safest big city [google.com] in the country according to the FBI's comprehensive crime statistics, as it has been for many years. It's safer than most suburbs too, for that matter, thanks to its population density.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by sumdumass (711423)
        You can thank former mayor juliani (however it is spelled)for that.

        I remember going into NYC back in the early 90's and it was scary. You could see a difference after he became mayor and this difference was more rvident the more the news stations complained about him. I guess he created a floating precinct idea were an entire police station was mobile and could be located where ever the need for extra enforcement popped up in less then 24 hours.

        He was also accused of many civil rights violations and such bu
        • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward
          You could see a difference after he became mayor and this difference was more rvident the more the news stations complained about him. I guess he created a floating precinct idea were an entire police station was mobile and could be located where ever the need for extra enforcement popped up in less then 24 hours.

          His greatest success was reducing the bureaucracy and letting the departments solve problems at the lowest possible level. This is the opposite of rigid bureaucratic systems like the French Nation
          • Wait a minute. A chief of the executive branch enforcing the laws that the legislature has passed, instead of spending all his time trying to get them to pass the laws he wants? That sounds pretty crazy to me.
        • Re:Safest? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by badasscat (563442) <[basscadet75] [at] [yahoo.com]> on Saturday March 31, 2007 @02:49PM (#18558003)
          You can thank former mayor juliani (however it is spelled)for that.

          Crime was dropping before Giuliani took office. And it's dropped faster under Bloomberg than it did under Giuliani.

          Crime dropped *nationwide* while Giuliani was in office, largely as a result of Bill Clinton's initiatives in both crime prevention (through educational programs, etc.) and in enforcement (100,000 new officers nationwide for community policing, of which about 5,000 ended up in NYC - that's 5,000 cops walking the beat that the city never had before, and Giuliani had nothing to do with them).

          I guess he created a floating precinct idea were an entire police station was mobile and could be located where ever the need for extra enforcement popped up in less then 24 hours.

          There's no such thing as a "floating precinct". William Bratton and his lieutenants came up with most of the ideas that lowered crime, but the two biggest things that you can credit from an enforcement standpoint are just those 5,000 extra cops and the computerized COMPSTAT crime tracking system that was both devised and implemented by deputy commissioner Jack Maple.

          Since 9/11, Giuliani gets credit for way too many things that he had little or nothing to do with. Most New Yorkers did not like him in the waning days of his mayoralty, and most credited Bratton and Clinton more with the reduction in crime than Giuliani. (I'm not sure if you can still find old gallup polls anywhere, but the polls did reflect that.)

          And how did Giuliani repay Bratton for his hard work? By asking for his resignation and hiring Bernard Kerik, a personal friend with ties to the mafia, to replace him.

          You're going to be hearing about this a lot more if Giuliani presses ahead with his presidential campaign.
          • by sammy baby (14909)

            And how did Giuliani repay Bratton for his hard work? By asking for his resignation and hiring Bernard Kerik, a personal friend with ties to the mafia, to replace him.

            You're going to be hearing about this a lot more if Giuliani presses ahead with his presidential campaign.

            Indeed, we're hearing more about it now [washingtonpost.com].

          • Crime dropped during the Clinton era because abortion was made legal 20 or so years before. This is talked about in the book "Freakonomics" You can get it on Amazon.
        • by mgblst (80109)
          It is amazing how far a little ignorance goes.

          Guiliani had almost nothing to do with this.

          Doesn't stop him making claims that he did, and every idiot comes out believing him, just because he had more coverage than anyone else.
    • Re:Safest? (Score:5, Funny)

      by nomadic (141991) * <nomadicworld&gmail,com> on Saturday March 31, 2007 @11:41AM (#18556369) Homepage
      Chicago is a much nicer, safer, cleaner and just better city than New York.

      ...with apparently a massive inferiority complex.
    • New York is in fact the safest large city in the US according to statistics. Chicago has a murder rate about twice that of NYC. Of course, if one were to compare on an international level, they're both dangerous compared to the rest of the "developed" world.
    • BTW, the New York you describe is very hard to reconcile with the New York I know. Just across the Brooklyn Bridge is nowhere near Williamsburg. Perhaps you meant the Williamsburg bridge? Or were you working in Brooklyn Heights? I can't think of any public housing projects near either.
    • Re:Safest? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by TodMinuit (1026042) <todminuit@gm3.1415926ail.com minus pi> on Saturday March 31, 2007 @11:51AM (#18556447)
      Chicago is a much nicer, safer, cleaner and just better city than New York. Notice that game makers don't generally use it.

      That's because Chicago has something New York has long forgotten: Class. In Chicago, crime isn't spilling onto the streets. It's locked away in the Government itself.

      If you wanted to set a crime game in Chicago, it'd have to be about stealing election votes, selling illegal drivers licenses, and collecting kick backs from major Government projects. The final mission would be to break into Meigs Field at 2AM and illegally destroy the runways (using tax-payer funded crews, no less).

      In some places, it's called the mafia. In Chicago, it's called the Government.
      • by chromatic (9471)

        Don't forget painting your name on all of the trash cans in the city. That still makes me laugh.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by benzapp (464105)
        Umm, no. Chicago has something called racial divide. It appears to suburban residents like the OP that Chicago is safe because they only stray into very small nearly exclusively white enclaves like Lincoln Park or the Gold Coast. They never go to the south side, which has 75 square miles of land entirely filled with Negroes. The reality, which is masked by the difficulty in finding race based crime stats, is that the vast majority of crimes in Chicago involve Negroes as both criminal and victim. It is
        • by Hadlock (143607)
          So what you're saying is, the poor people that are more likely to commit crime can't afford to live in the high rent part of town?
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by benzapp (464105)
            No, not really. There are many Hispanic neighborhoods that have similar income demographics but are generally safer.

            The materialistic view of crime worked well in the 1960s when the US was 90% white and 5% black with everyone else mixed in.

            Today, it's a different story. The story of the criminality of the American Negro is unique and irrespective of wealth. There are many hispanic neighborhoods which are significantly more safe, despite having similar income demographics. The same is true for many asian
        • by kurt555gs (309278)
          It is not so much as a racial divide but more an " undesirable " divide.

          When I was in New York, I noticed parks filled with weirdos just lurking about. I think it was Washington Park , but I am probably wrong. That would never happen in Chicago, the cops would roust out the lurkers and weirdos and send them off.

          You can go to the Lake front any time of the day or night, or Lincoln Park and the New York style creepy lurkers just are not present. They aren't welcome in Millennium Park or Grant Park, or along
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by codeshack (753630)
      Erm, Williamsburg isn't near the Brooklyn Bridge. As I write this, from my apartment about ten blocks from the middle of Williamsburg, in a lovely, safe, neighborhood, I am somewhat confused as to what you're talking about. Plus, I'm sure Chicago's housing projects are just delightful. Where was that Cabrini-Green place again?
    • by TubeSteak (669689)

      I live near Chicago ( Joliet ) and travel extensively through ought the USA. "Safest"? and New York do not belong in the same sentence in my opinion.

      Chicago has roughly the same murder rate as New York, but half as many people.
      Therefore, Chicago has a murder rate that is around twice has high.

      For its size, NY has a low *reported* crime rate compared to smaller cities.
      But you should always take all crime statistics with a grain of salt.

      That said, my skepticism still doesn't detract from the fact that NY has

    • Safest is of course relative. In the county I was born in the only murder that happened there in years was some guy who happened to be driving through when he decided to kill his wife. That was 5 years ago.
      I doubt the "safest" city in the USA can say the same thing.
      • by Anubis350 (772791)
        I'm going to go out on a limb here and bet that there were a lot less people and a lot less population *density* in your county than nyc. Wait, you mean*number* of murders goes up with number of people? You don't say... Now how about some stats there are 6.6 murder/100,000ppl in a city of 8mil with a metro area of 22mil, do you really think that's a large number? I'm betting that it's less per capita than th one murder in your county
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by roaddemon (666475)
      Uh... no. Chicago is about 3 times as dangerous by every stat here:

      http://www.areaconnect.com/crime/compare.htm?c1=ne w+york&s1=NY&c2=chicago&s2=IL [areaconnect.com]
    • Too bad their pizza sucks. And by pizza, I mean the sauce and bread soup they call pizza in Chicago. NYC has them beat there. I'm still waiting for GTA Baltimore, though. "GTA: Loch Raven Stories."
    • its not that bad in ny :) been here my whole life. NYC is pretty safe overall. There are a few trouble spots but even they're not as bad as it seems. Yes there are housing projects, but dont forget people do live there, and not all of them are criminals. It just happens that there are criminals in those areas because they live in a poorer community, inside the big rich apple. You have extreme wealth and extreme poor, all at a subways distance.

    • I'm suspicious of your post. When were you working in NYC? I ask because, well, first, anyone who's afraid of going into Williamsburg these days must fear trendy college kids. Second, because I'm wondering when they moved Williamsburg to be near the Brooklyn Bridge-- last I checked, Williamsburg was near the Williamsburg Bridge.

  • by gorbachev (512743) on Saturday March 31, 2007 @11:29AM (#18556303) Homepage
    Thanks for the advertisement, we sure appreciate it.

    *laugh all the way to the bank*
  • hmm (Score:2, Interesting)

    by nomadic (141991) *
    Obviously these guys never played GTA3, since it was also set in the "fictional" Liberty City, that also felt a lot like NYC

    It felt nothing like NYC. Seriously, Rockstar hasn't really done a good job capturing the feel of the cities they parallel. Vice City didn't feel like Miami either.
    • On the same token, I don't really think Rockstar's as-of-yet TRIED to go very far in capturing the feel of the real-life cities they base their settings in. I think their foremost concern is making the cities the most fun for driving really fast, and blowing up lots of stuff. If they strive for more realism though - just imaging the thrilling white knuckle car chases through downtown Manhattan during rush hour! Er... wait...
    • by sumdumass (711423)
      It isn't what you think it is like, It is what I tell you to think it is like.

      I think the perspective is off by default. If rockstar really did do this, they might have issues with the game being accurate enough to plan a crime and some grieving family trying to blame the guy with the most bucks.
    • [Liberty City in GTAIII] felt nothing like NYC.

      Agreed here. As one who grew up in Nu Yawk, I'm hard pressed to think of a single feature in that game's Liberty City that was reminiscent of the city in any way. It was very much a generic Hill Street Blues [wikipedia.org] -like "generic big Eastern/Northeastern US city."

      Seriously, Rockstar hasn't really done a good job capturing the feel of the cities they parallel. Vice City didn't feel like Miami either.

      Disagree here. Vice City, according to my friend who went to college

      • by nomadic (141991) *
        Agreed here. As one who grew up in Nu Yawk, I'm hard pressed to think of a single feature in that game's Liberty City that was reminiscent of the city in any way. It was very much a generic Hill Street Blues -like "generic big Eastern/Northeastern US city."

        As a New Yorker I got the feeling it was sort of a rundown rust belt kind of city, maybe Detroit.

        Disagree here. Vice City, according to my friend who went to college at the University of Miami, was filled with things reminiscent of Miami.

        As a Ne
  • Sequel idea (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 31, 2007 @11:44AM (#18556391)
    Set it in the Greater Toronto Area next time! GTA: GTA. ... anyone?
    • by sam991 (995040)
      If i had mod points, i would so mod you up. But i don't, so you just get this lousy reply.
  • A journalist asks a politician about the inclusion of their voting jurisdiction in the latest instalment of one of the most controversial media franchises, and the politician say they are opposed to it out of fear of offending voters. This is what passes for news? GTA getting bad press is like politicians ducking bad press whenever they can, it is inevitable.

    And what is so "unfortunate" about Take Two not wanting to comment? What are they going to say that we can not figure out on our own?

    It is just a gam

  • Wait. . . (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by Clock Nova (549733)
    I'm confused. I thought that GTA3 was Vice City and GTA4 was San Andreas. Wouldn't that make this GTA5? Obviously I've never played a GTA game.
    • No there was GTA III, a GTA Vice City and a GTA San Andreas. But they are considered part of III I guess.
    • Re:Wait. . . (Score:4, Informative)

      by PipOC (886408) on Saturday March 31, 2007 @12:04PM (#18556577) Homepage
      GTA 3, VC, and SA used the same engine, and are thus from the same generation, kind of like episodic content, while still being full length games. GTA 4 has a new game engine so it's a different generation. Though this distinction wasn't really maintained in GTA 1 and 2, as they used the same engine, as well as there being another game London 1969 between them.
    • Grand theft auto 1 and 2 were 2-d top down view games released on the playstation and PC (and dreamcast in the case of GTA2). GTA3 refers to the 3d game released on playstation 2. Vice City, San Andreas, and all the PSP games the other games that came after GTA3, while they may be sequels, did not recieve a number designation.

      I suppose the major difference that gets GTA:IV its own number designation is the vastly improved graphics engine over all the GTA3 games.

  • From TFA: "The mayor does not support any video game where you earn points for injuring or killing police officers" this is highly controversial...
    • It should be controversial. What's so special about police officers? Why doesn't his lack of support extend to any game where you kill people?
  • by Nimey (114278) on Saturday March 31, 2007 @12:50PM (#18556945) Homepage Journal
    If Rockstar had set IV in a virtual Boston, there's no telling /what/ the city government might have done. Detonate game boxes because they might be bombs, probably.
  • Setting Grand Theft Auto in the safest big city in America would be like setting Halo in Disneyland.

    Seems like a good idea to me.

    The mayor does not support any video game where you earn points for injuring or killing police officers.

    That's OK. It's a video game, his "support" isn't required. A better question would be what kinds of killing Bloomberg actually does support.
  • Wasn't "Liberty City" the name used for New York in Deus Ex?
  • There was a game called "True Crime: NYC" that has frickin NYC in the title, that was a GTA-like game. I don't see anyone complaining about that.

    Case closed.
  • um... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by syrinx (106469) on Saturday March 31, 2007 @02:43PM (#18557951) Homepage
    "Obviously these guys never played GTA3, since it was also set in the "fictional" Liberty City"

    um... or the first GTA, which was the original source of the GTA Liberty City? seriously, can no one remember anything more than 3 years ago?
    • by frostband (970712)
      Having played most of the series, I'd say that Lib. City in GTA3 "feels" a lot more like NYC than in GTA1...probably just the top down view, the graphics and the story, but still.
    • by GauteL (29207)
      The move to a 3D environment with GTA3 had such a massive impact on the game that many people easily forget GTA1 and GTA2 and consider GTA3 the first game of the series.

      I'm almost inclined to agree. GTA1 and GTA2 are fun games but feel completely different than the games since GTA3. Very much like I don't consider Dune II to be a sequal to Dune 1.
  • ...but I'm eagerly awaiting "Grand Theft Auto: Terre Haute, IN". It'll be hours and hours of dull fun! :P
  • Well, it's somewhat obvious that the news poster hasn't played GTA3 either, because if he had he'd have known it wasn't based in Liberty City.

    It's kind of a rather massive thing to overlook that CJ left Liberty City to move to San Andreas for his mother's funeral. The first GTA was the one that was based in Liberty City (notwithstanding the "Liberty City Stories" mini that came out after GTAIII).

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      Well, it's somewhat obvious that the news poster hasn't played GTA3 either, because if he had he'd have known it wasn't based in Liberty City.

      Maybe you haven't either? (See http://www.ebgames.com/product.asp?product_id=9382 42 [ebgames.com])

      There is one game GTA3, it is set in Liberty City. It has two offshoots... GTA:Vice City and GTA:San Andreas, which I have not played, but gather from the titles that they are not set in Liberty City.

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